Today, at Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's emotional press conference regarding his crack use, you may have noticed his spiffy, NFL-themed tie.
"What's this?" You may have asked yourself. American Football is American Football for a reason! Despite the CFL, football isn't among the top seven most played sports in Canada.
Well, it turns out that Rob Ford's lifelong passion is — you guessed it — FOOTBALL. Growing up as the son of a multimillionaire business owner, Rob wanted more than anything to become a pro football player!
When Rob dreamed of becoming a pro football player, his father sent him to a summer football camp—but not just any football camp. He was dispatched to the youth camp of the Washington Redskins, who had just won the 1983 Super Bowl with two of his heroes, star running back John Riggins and former Toronto Argonaut Joe Theismann. From there, it was on to South Bend, Indiana, and workouts at the legendary University of Notre Dame campus—an extravagant tour of gridiron nirvana beyond the wildest fantasies of your average North American teen.
He even went out for the team in college! He played for a single term on Carleton College's practice squad as a center before dropping out. Like, he BARELY missed the NFL.
Still, he never gave up his dream of involving himself in football. He started a program at Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School in Toronto with his own money! And coached there until he was fired earlier this year.
(In the now infamous video of Ford smoking crack, he refers to his own players, on Don Bosco, as "just fucking minorities.")
Still, he was a pretty good coach! In his last year at Don Bosco, he won the Toronto Catholic league title.
Even though Ford isn't coaching anymore, he continues to use football, his lifelong passion, as a way of understanding his current job, being the crack-smoking mayor of the biggest city in Canada.
Left-wing councillor Joe Mihevc also played high-school and university football, but his focus on football waned with age. "I think most people reach a point where it just loses importance," he says. "But that's not the case with Rob." Mihevc is in a city hall football pool with Ford, and although the mayor has never won a season, he takes it very seriously. "Most councillors walk around with pink slips of who they have to call next, and [Ford] has football rankings and stats in his pocket," says Mihevc...Says Mihevc, "He speaks with the metaphors of football at city hall. 'Move the ball down the field.' 'Team Ford.' This is his reality."